October 31, 2020

ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) Releases List of the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Past Decade

From the American Library Association:

Today, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) released the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books from the past decade.

The list’s release launches Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 – Oct. 3, a vibrant week of programming to rally readers to the cause of First Amendment protections and remind them to remain vigilant about continual threats to our freedom to read.

Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” tops the list as the most banned and challenged book from 2010-2019. Alexie joins Toni Morrison, Alex Gino, John Green and E. L. James as some of the most censored authors. Many of the titles on the list have also been adapted for the screen, including “Captain Underpants,” “The Hunger Games,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Hate U Give,” “The Glass Castle” and “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”

The list includes books challenged for a variety of reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, sexual references, religious viewpoints, content that addresses racism and police brutality, and profanity. Although the reasons differ, the censorship of literature in libraries share a common result: the violation of our First Amendment rights.

Top 20 From the List

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • George by Alex Gino
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  • Internet Girls (series) by Lauren Myracle
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
  • Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg

Direct to Complete List of 100 Books

Since 1990, the OIF has documented attempts to ban books in libraries and schools. The list of the most banned and challenged books from 2010-2019 was compiled by OIF by reviewing both the public and confidential censorship reports it received.

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Banned Books Week 2020

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that draws attention to censorship. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media, with the focus on the following daily topics:

  • Read a banned book (Sunday)
  • Speak out about censorship (Monday)
  • Create something unrestricted (Tuesday)
  • Express the freedom to read in style (Wednesday)
  • Write about your rights (Thursday)
  • Watch, listen and learn from others (Friday)
  • Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year (Saturday)

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The Banned Books Week Facebook page will offer a series of events including:

Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. CT
Video premiere of City Lit Theater reading excerpts of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019

Sept. 30, at 1 p.m. CT 
Live Q&A about censorship and the importance of representation in literature with Alex Gino, award-winning author of the banned book “George”

Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. CT
Discussion during the watch party of “Scary Stories,” a documentary about the banned and challenged series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz, followed by a live Q&A with director Cody Meirick on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

Direct to Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books From the Past Decade

Direct to Complete ALA Announcement

See Also: Top 10 Challenged Books of 2019  PDF  l  PNG

See Also: Top 10 Challenged Books of 2019 Spanish  PDF  l  PNG

More Resources

Banned Books Week Materials From ALA
FAQs, Lists, Downloads, etc.

BannedBooksWeek.org Website From Banned Books Week Coalition

History of Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week Page on Facebook

Banned Books Week YouTube Page

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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